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Silverstone weekend sends Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship battle down to the wire

Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single-marque GT racing championship in the UK – travelled to Silverstone for its penultimate weekend of the season. Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing) drove to two overall victories in Northamptonshire, significantly bolstering his championship chances. However, the Pro category title fight will go down to the wire at the season finale at Brands Hatch in October. Meanwhile, a jubilant Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) secured two category wins – enough to see him crowned provisional 2022 Pro-Am champion at Silverstone.

In qualifying, the top three drivers in the championship ended the session in the first three places. Jewiss secured the third pole position of his Porsche racing career, taking the two championship points awarded with it to extend his tally. Second was Porsche GB 2022 / 2023 Junior Adam Smalley (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) with Will Martin (Comline Richardson Racing) third – just 0.193 split the trio, establishing an exciting start to the weekend’s races. Rainford was the fastest Pro-Am driver edging him closer to category championship glory, while Josh Stanton (JTR) was the top Am.

Jewiss led off the start line and controlled the pace of the weekend’s first race to take his third win of the season. Rookie Theo Edgerton (JTR) grabbed second early on, leaving Smalley to battle with Martin for third – the Junior ended the race ahead to complete the overall podium. Rainford ran as high as fifth overall before driving to his ninth Pro-Am category win of 2022. Meanwhile, Stanton survived a dramatic clash with Will Aspin (Team Parker Racing) to stand on the top step of the Am category podium.

Gus Burton (Rosland Gold by Century Motorsport) made a good start from the front row of the weekend’s second encounter, leading for most of the race distance from a chasing Jewiss before a time penalty relegated him to second. The result cemented a perfect weekend for Jewiss, establishing an exciting season finalé at Brands Hatch. Rainford took another category victory to be crowned provisional Pro-Am champion, while in Am Stanton beat his rivals once more – this time with an impressive drive to seventh overall.

Friday’s first practice session took place in damp conditions which called for grooved wet weather Michelin tyres. Martin was the early pacesetter with Ross Wylie (Toro Verde GT) and Jack Bartholomew (Comline Richardson Racing) giving chase. Martin’s time of 1:01.014 stood for a time until it was beaten first by Edgerton, then Smalley – the Junior’s time of 59.642 made him the first driver to lap the 1.640-mile circuit in under one minute.

Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker) was the fastest Pro-Am driver with Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) successfully adapting to his return to Porsche racing, the pair followed by Angus Whiteside (Toro Verde GT). Newcomer Finlay Cooper (Team Parker Racing) was ahead in Am, followed by provisional 2022 Am category champion Stanton with returnee Nigel Rice (Redline Racing) just behind. In the second half of the session several drivers switched to slick Michelin racing tyres but did not find enough grip on the slippery track surface.

Smalley’s earlier time would stand as the morning’s fastest at the flag. Ratcliffe impressed with a lap good enough for second overall, while the experienced Rice emerged as the quickest in Am. Burton took part in only the final five minutes of the session while Jewiss and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) remained in the pit lane for its duration. Returnee Lee Frost (Toro Verde) and newcomer Cooper completed the highest number of laps – 26.

In the afternoon’s dry practice Edgerton was the first to driver to set a representative time. However, he was quickly usurped by Jewiss who lapped the circuit in 55.119 – a time that would stand for much of the session. Rainford impressed in Pro-Am, having sat out much of the morning session, the category championship leader posting a time third quickest overall. In Am Stanton set the early benchmark.

Midway through the session Burton leaped into second spot – just 0.033 seconds adrift of Jewiss. Rainford was pipped by Hugo Ellis (JTR) but then improved to top Pro-Am, his impressive new time just 0.106 seconds off the benchmark lap set by Jewiss. In the final 10 minutes of the session Edgerton, Jewiss, and Burton all took a turn to sit atop the timing screens. But, in the final minute of second practice, Jewiss recorded the day’s quickest time – 54.852. Rainford remained ahead in Pro-Am, Stanton in Am.

Saturday afternoon’s 30-minute qualifying session took place in dry but overcast conditions. Burton set the pace early on, the first driver to lap the circuit in under 55 seconds with a time of 54.957, soon improving to a 54.630. Returnee Bartholomew was initially close behind with Martin giving chase in third. Next, Smalley weighed into the competition, setting a time just 0.091 seconds adrift of Burton – good enough for second overall.

In Pro-Am, Ellis, Aspin and Nathan Harrison (Redline Racing) traded times. By the halfway point of the session, category championship leader Rainford was ahead. Stanton was the benchmark in Am while category rivals Cooper, Rice and Frost all switched positions as they attempted to beat each other’s lap times. With 18 minutes of the session remaining, Jewiss leapt to the top of the timing screens with a 54.436. In the second half of qualifying several drivers had lap times deleted for track limits.

In the final five minutes of the session, Smalley went second fastest, his time 0.186 adrift of Jewiss. Edgerton soon split the pair before Jewiss improved – his time of 54.247 putting pole position out of the reach of his rivals. At the flag the final order was Jewiss from Smalley and Martin – the three championship contenders in the top three positions on the grid. Rainford remained ahead in Pro-Am advancing his category championship chances, while Stanton was once again the pacesetting Am.

The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format meant that Jewiss earned two championship points with his pole position, as did the top qualifiers in their respective categories: Rainford (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am).

Race one
The first of the weekend’s two races took place on Sunday morning in dry conditions. When the lights went out Jewiss got away well, Smalley tucked in behind while Martin held station in third. Jake Giddings (Team Parker Racing) was quick off the mark, accelerating from tenth on the grid to sit seventh. There was drama on the opening lap as Bartholomew clashed with Oliver White (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) which resulted in a spin for White at Becketts. On the second lap, Edgerton moved up to second, leaving Smalley to fend off an attacking Martin in third. Rainford maintained his category lead in Pro-Am while Stanton did the same in Am.

Burton soon put Rainford under pressure for fifth overall, while just behind Ellis drew alongside Aspin in their fight for eighth place. At the end of the Wellington Straight Aspin was ahead of Ellis but, as they diced through Luffield, Aspin ran wide on the grass causing him to lose ground. As he attempted to recover, Aspin made contact with Stanton on the National Straight – both drivers continued their races with damage. On lap six Martin attacked Smalley for third at Luffield, but the Junior stayed ahead as Burton finally passed Rainford for fifth.

The fight between Martin and Smalley gradually gained momentum. On lap 15 the pair were together, Martin soon finding a route through as Burton closed in to make it a three-car battle for the final podium place. On lap 16 Smalley mustered an impressive move to regain third place from Martin at Becketts. One lap later Burton moved to the inside of Martin at the same place, locking a wheel as he successfully snatched fourth spot. Shortly afterwards Ellis overtook Giddings before the latter came under pressure from Aspin, Aspin grabbing eighth place with a move at Copse.

A close fight soon developed between Stanton and Bartholomew for tenth position, Bartholomew finally getting ahead of the Am category leader on lap 23. One lap later Aspin received a five second penalty for track limits, Whiteside another driver to receive a penalty for the same reason. On lap 26 Ratcliffe became involved in a fight with Micah Stanley (Redline Racing), Stanley overtaking at Copse to assume P12. White then attempted a similar move, but Ratcliffe got back ahead of both drivers to reassume the lead of a four car train; Ratcliffe, Stanton, White and Wylie all now running line astern. On the final lap of the race, Aspin received a second time penalty for track limits relegating him down the order, promoting Ratcliffe to the final Pro-Am podium spot on corrected time.

Having controlled the race from the start, Jewiss crossed the finish line to take his third win of the season. Edgerton secured a comfortable second with Smalley third. In Pro-Am, Rainford clinched his ninth category victory of 2022, joined on the podium by Ellis and Ratcliffe. Stanton, Frost and Rice formed the Am category podium.

For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Jewiss (Pro), Ellis (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am) each received one additional championship point. As part of the 2022 podium procedure, winner Jewiss selected at random the number five ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top five overall finishers from the opening race. That made the grid order for the weekend’s second race Martin and Burton on the front row, Smalley and Edgerton on row two, Jewiss on row three.

Following the race Aspin and Bartholomew were each handed a penalty of two championship points – Aspin for making contact with Stanton, Bartholomew for his incident with White on the first lap.

Race two
The weekend’s second race took place in dry conditions on Sunday afternoon. Burton made a good start from the front row to lead into the first corner, Martin slotting in behind with Smalley third. As the pack arrived at Becketts, Edgerton made contact with Smalley who in turn collided with Martin – Smalley and Martin lost positions, but continued their races. In Pro-Am Rainford maintained his category lead from Ellis and Ratcliffe, while in Am Stanton led Frost and Rice. As Smalley and Martin began recovery drives, Aspin soon found a way by Ratcliffe for third in Pro-Am.

As the race settled down the gap between leader Burton and Jewiss was approximately half a second. In third, Edgerton slid back into the clutches of Rainford though the Pro-Am leader could not mount a pass – Giddings and Ellis soon joined to make it a four-car train chasing the final podium spot. Smalley continued his charge back through the pack, passing Bartholomew then, as White was battling with Ratcliffe, Smalley was able to capitalise and take P11 in the run through Luffield. Smalley’s progress continued and by lap 20 he was up to eighth, with Martin following close behind.

On lap 23 Ellis attacked Giddings for fifth, the pair going side-by-side on the National Straight and Ellis emerging ahead to gain the position. Two laps later, White entered the pit lane to make his retirement from the race. Attentions then quickly turned to the escalating scrap between leader Burton and the chasing Jewiss. Jewiss looked closer than ever in the final stages of the race but could not get an overlap. However, on the penultimate lap, Burton was handed a five second penalty for track limits, promoting Jewiss to the lead on corrected time and relegating Burton to second overall.

Reigning Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB champion, Edgerton, hung on to secure his second podium result of the weekend in third. Rainford’s category victory made him provisional 2022 Pro-Am champion, joined on the category podium by Ellis and Aspin. Stanton recorded another win in Am – finishing an impressive eighth overall. Frost and Rice completed the category podium. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Jewiss (Pro), Ellis (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am) each received one additional championship point.

The championship finalé takes place at Brands Hatch on the weekend of 8 / 9 October. With his perfect weekend in Northamptonshire, Jewiss has increased his Pro category championship points advantage over Martin. Smalley sits slightly adrift in third, but the championship battle will go down to the wire. As provisional category champions, Rainford – Pro-Am – and Stanton – Am – can race their rivals in Kent freed from any championship concerns.

Championship positions*

Kiern Jewiss – Team Parker Racing – 115
Will Martin – Comline Richardson Racing – 93
Adam Smalley – Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline – 87

Charles Rainford – CCK Motorsport – 132
Nathan Harrison – Redline Racing – 97
Ryan Ratcliffe – Team Parker Racing – 64

Josh Stanton – JTR – 153
Justin Sherwood – Team Parker Racing – 61
Nigel Rice – Redline Racing – 55

*results remain provisional

Source. Porsche


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